Altura Mining (Altura) owns and operates the world-class Altura Lithium Project in WA’s Pilbara region. The mine commenced production in 2018 and has a production capacity of 220,000tpa of spodumene concentrate.
Altura engaged Primero to achieve sustainable nameplate production through the provision of operational support services, development of a fit for purpose asset management strategy and the implementation of supporting systems / processes to achieve higher plant runtime.
DESIGN | CONSTRUCT | OPERATE | ASSET MANAGEMENT
Altura is now focused on the operational ramp-up phase of the Pilgangoora plant. As plant throughput increases, equipment limitations will be identified. To achieve further performance improvement this equipment will need to be modified. Altura has engaged Primero group to compare these modifications...Primero is well-positioned in the industry and their outstanding safety record is welcome at Altura Pilgangoora Lithium Project. - James Brown, Managing Director, Altura Mining Limited
Design, Construct, Operate
Primero was recognised for having design, construction, and operational expertise under one roof. A vertically integrated business model that lends itself to agile and often time-poor operational project delivery. Primero previously designed plant mods for Altura, implemented those designs and embedded operational and maintenance personnel with the expertise to help drive their O&M systems, processes, and discipline to the next level.
Our production optimisation scope was approached in two-phases:
Phase 1: early engagement and definition, including risk/benefit review, operational readiness methodology immediate opportunities, and support.
Phase 2: execution and establishment of the asset management strategy, including the establishment of documentation, processes, and procedures, determine asset criticality, maintenance tactics implementation, embed maintenance management processes and operational excellence follow-through.
Phase 1 crystallised in an all-day workshop with Altura, defining risks and opportunities with the potential to immediately impact plant performance. Our services were retained to implement those opportunities in the form of maintenance strategy development and a ‘mod squad’ project team to charged with the responsibility to safely drive rapid continuous improvement projects for our client.
Debottlenecking activity played an enabling role in achieving nameplate production. Limitations within the plant that were upgraded include:
- Fines feed dewatering system;
- De-grit screen
- Gland water system; and
- Conveyor guarding
Underscored core values and delivering on promise at Altura.
Accountability - Take Ownership
“Feels like we’re part of a team now and really getting [stuff] done rather than just talking about it.” – Testimonial from Altura Operations
Efficiency - Work Smarter
“Innovative maintenance plan is delivering longer runtime between shutdowns and ‘modular’ outages, allowing continuity of production of lithium concentrate” – James Brown, Managing Director Altura Mining
Accountability - Uphold Promises
“In a relatively short amount of time, the operations team have made a number of significant improvements to key aspects of the process plant which has delivered a record month of production in May (2019) and strong lithium sales for the current quarter” – James Brown, Managing Director Altura Mining